Thyroid + Weight// Eating with Hypothyroidism

You’ve heard it a million times: weight management is all about calories in calories out.

If that is the case, then explain:

  • Why you’re eating less and less food, but the scale isn’t budging. Or worse, your weight it is going up.
  • You don’t eat all day until dinner time and keep dinner to < 500 calories, but your pants are fitting tighter than ever
  • You’re living off 100 calorie snack Oreo snack packs between meals, but your midsection has a spare tire
  • You’re drinking all the juices and green drinks, but your energy is in the tank

The reason the eat less, exercise more approach doesn’t work is because our bodies are not calculators.

Shoot, it would be a lot easier if it were, right?! Instead, our bodies are more like thermostats that ebb and flow and acclimate to the messages being received from the body and brain.

Think of it this way: if you were to lose your job today, would you go:

A: go out and buy a brand new Ferrari

B: save up money and don’t buy the new Ferrari

I mean, you COULD get a new sports car, but that certainly wouldn’t be the most responsible choice! 🙂

Think of your body like the most responsible person you know that doesn’t take too many risks. When energy resources (AKA calories we get from food) are too low, the body makes the decision not to waste it on lesser important tasks (speeding up metabolism, supporting optimal digestion, producing ample amount of sex hormones, utilizing thyroid hormones, muscle growth, etc.) because there is only enough to fuel the more essential functions (like… breathing, heartbeat, brain function– to name a few!). Beyond not “spending” resources, your body will also “save up” resources (store fat) when there isn’t enough food consistently coming in.

When resources are limited, your body will always prioritize functions essential for surviving, not for thriving!

The ground up approach to properly nourishing your way into a stellar metabolism:

  1. Getting enough calories (getting enough fuel for the tank)
  2. Balancing your macronutrients (AKA where those calories are coming from)
  3. Meal timing (the distribution of those calories over the day)
  4. Nutrient density (getting as many vitamins & minerals to support cellular energy production AKA your metabolism!)

Getting Enough Fuel

Using another car analogy (which is funny because I know very little about cars LOL)

  1. Having enough fuel in your gas tank
  2. Making sure the gas you use is the right for your car (Premium gas versus Regular gas)
  3. Planning the right times to stop and fill up the tank
  4. Keeping your engine clean with regular oil changes

We are still very primal beings with bodies that are hardwired for survival. When the brain perceives that there is not enough food (whether intentional or unintentional undereating), you’re running away from a threat (maybe long hours on the treadmill and/or high stress hormones for other reasons), the body transitions from rest/digest/reproduce/metabolize into flight/fight/freeze. To make sure we’re not worsening the situation, I implement my “nourishment over deprivation” approach with clients to support sustainable weight loss. Sustainable being the key word– because, sure, you could lose weight doing a super low calorie diet and bootcamp classes, but odds are (literally 95.7% of the time) that the unrealistic approach will backfire and you’ll end up putting on MORE weight!

Macronutrient Balance

Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these provides different amounts of calories (1 gram carb = 4 calories, 1 gram protein = 4 calories, 1 gram fat = 9) calories. So calories matter, but WHERE those calories come from matters greatly when we’re talking about supporting optimal metabolic function which greatly hinges in blood sugar balance. Eating 2000 calories all from carbs versus 2000 calories from a balance of carbs, proteins, and fats will create very different metabolic effects in the body because of the impact primarily on your blood sugar which is the foundation of my unique nutritional therapy approach.

Meal Timing

Next, meal timing makes a big different too! If you were to eat 200 grams of carbs at one time versus 200 grams spread over the course of the day, the metabolism impact is different. Think of it like preparing for a road trip and filling your gas tank once expecting to drive 2000 miles. It’s impossible to fill up your tank enough in one encounter without the gasoline spilling out of the tank. In the body, excess amounts at one time go into fat storage for “future” use (which sometimes doesn’t ever come, so the fat deposition compounds). Another scenario: under-eating during the week only to binge on weekends. The calories technically DON’T average out because the deficit during the week has likely primed your body to go into major storage mode any time there is an overage. The solution: consistency in your eating routine! Ideally, you’ll have a predictable span of time between each meal. Find landmarks in your day (like wake-up time, lunch time, and bed time) and build your schedule around those non-moving targets. If lunch is a crap-shoot because you often have meetings over the lunch hour, then make your anchor meals (AKA the meals that you can really rely on) as nutrient dense as possible.

Nutrient Density

Lastly, is nutrient density. I can’t tell you how many clients I work with who are legitimately eating good quality, healthy foods, but it isn’t WHAT they’re eating that is the issue– it is how, when, and how much. It is the same reason why you can take a ton of supplements, but if you’re not eating food, you won’t survive. Or maybe why when you’ve started a supplement protocol without addressing your food choices that you don’t get much tractions. Nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids) are what cells use to produce energy. Energy production in the body is tied to your metabolism. Poor cellular energy production = poor metabolism. If you hit your macros perfectly but are eating Ho-Ho’s and Ding-Dongs, you’re probably not going to get the outcome you’re hoping for!

When I am partnering with clients to optimize their nutrition to support their thyroid and make weight loss goals achievable, we implement my The BRAIN Method which sets the solid foundation for big time metabolism support.

B: blood sugar balance

R: regulate inflammation

A: adrenal resiliency

I: intestinal support

N: nutrient repletion

We got REALLY, really specific to what their body needs! Each body is unique and has roots in a different story, so the approach needs to be tailored to the person.

On top of foundations, we leveraged specialty lab testing to hone in on where the body needed support the most. When we target the weakest links in the chain, big changes happen!

What we didn’t do:

  • super low calorie diets
  • unrealistic standard plans
  • shooting in the dark
  • hours of exercise
  • missing out on meals with friends
  • boring and bland foods

Here are ways I can help!